A group of approximately 20 East Hampton High School students departed last Thursday for the Harvard Model Congress in Cambridge, Mass., where they took on different roles in government for four days. About 1,500 students from across the country participated.
The East Hampton students included Jen deGroof, Sarah Johnson, Nadia Barcenas, Mary Jernigan, Collin Kavanaugh, Nicole Daniludis, Elias Van Sickle, Mario Mayorga, Melanie Mackin, Laura Perez, Sarah Talmage, Mike Burns, Andrew Davis, Cesa Cabrera, Skye Marigold, Courtney Bennett, Nick Zablotsky, and Aoife Forde. They had to assume the role of a senator, congressman, or other member of government, giving them a chance to expand their points of view and understanding of government.
Harvard Model Congress gives high school students the opportunity to learn how government functions and about current world issues. Students served on a variety of different congressional committees from a mock Agriculture Committee to a Homeland Security Committee, among others. They engaged in open debates, caucuses, trials, press conferences, and testimonies, giving them a better education on the political process.
Students also got to meet people from all over the country, to practice public speaking, and much more. Harvard Model Congress also has programs on the National Security Council, the District and Supreme Courts, and lobbyists, teaching student delegates how each of these plays a role in the government.
The East Hampton students had a chance to visit Harvard University and sit in on classes and to visit Boston.
Alissa Clermont was also a participant in the Harvard Model Congress.